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Movie Bad Girl of the Week: Alice Johnson

Embrace your inner bad girl  with Movie Bad Girl of the Week!  

By  Alexandra Elaine Michaels

Lisa Wilcox as Alice Johnson

Once upon a time where Elm Street is located there was a child killer named Fred Krueger. He had been alive at one time but the parents of the children found out what he was doing and burned him to death. He became something much worse. His evil found a way to come back in the dreams of the kids. If they died in the dream, they died for real.

In this neighborhood lived a young, plain and shy girl named Alice Johnson. She lived with her brother Rick and their father Dennis. Now kids, I am going to tell you a bedtime story. And whatever you do, don’t fall asleep!  Alice is a sweet, quiet girl who doesn’t wear make-up or do much with her hair, she also wears frumpy clothes. Among the friends she and her brother share in their high school, she is the most timid although she is well liked. She is given to daydreaming, whether it is about the high school jock she has a crush on or yelling at her alcoholic father for the way he treats her. Like ours, her life is not perfect.

In her bedroom her mirror is covered in a collage of photos of her, Rick, their mom and friends. Not an inch of glass is exposed. Her brother asks her doesn’t it defeat the purpose of the mirror being she cannot see herself. She says she doesn’t want to. Alice is hiding from the world and herself.  Her brother’s girlfriend Kristen is the last of the Elm Street children. She has beaten Fred Krueger once but she knows that he is coming back for her. She is right.

Freddy comes for Kristen. Kristen has a dream power. She can pull people into her dreams. She pulls Alice in just before Krueger ends her life opening the door for Freddy to go after a whole new group of kids. Just before Kristen dies she passes her power to Alice. This begins the process of Alice’s reinvention.

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Alice from A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988)

Freddy kills Alice’s friends and brother. With each death Alice takes some quality from them that become a part of her. With each death, she becomes stronger and more self-assured. She also becomes more attractive. With each death photos begin coming off the mirror and she can see more of herself each time. Eventually only she and Dan (the jock she has had the crush on) are left. They are in a car accident and Dan is rushed into emergency surgery. It is now or never. Alice goes home to prepare for battle.

 She takes sleeping pills and dresses in an entirely new fashion. Gone are the frumpy clothes, Alice is now clad in boots, tight jeans a gray undershirt and leather jacket. She is wearing jewelry with studs and spikes. Her hair is pulled back with a few wisps around her face and she is wearing make-up. She is carrying weapons and items belonging to the deceased family and friends She pulls every photo off her mirror and looks at herself (probably for the first time since her mom had died years earlier) and says, “Fucking A.” She is now the true Alice, beautiful, tough and full of confidence. Alice leaps through the looking glass into the dream.

She and Freddy have their showdown in a church. Alice strong and determined, attacks with a fury to stop him once and for all. During the fight she remembers a poem about the Dream Master that her mother taught her (a poem that puts you in control of your dreams) and uses it to vanquish Krueger. She quotes the poem saying that evil shall see itself and it shall die. She holds a mirrored piece of glass up to Freddy and he looks into his own reflection. Looking into his own evil is his undoing.

What can we learn from Alice?

 In many ways we are all Alice. We all love to daydream about different things in our life. Do we act on them or like Alice, just let them be fantasies? Usually a daydream is a desire of something we want. Wanting and getting are two different things. It is up to each of us to reach for that dream. It does not guarantee that we will get it but it beats a lifetime of wondering “What if”.

 Appearance is something people judge us by. (I am guilty of this) How do we come across? Are we stylish and done up to the nines? Do we have make-up on and every hair in place? Or like Alice do we throw on a shapeless dress and run out the door with just a little lip gloss? Most times I am Alice running out the door in sneakers, old jeans and a t-shirt with a wild mess of Medusa hair. Is it a matter of not having pride? Absolutely not! I choose my looks according to what I am doing. Sadly the world doesn’t think this when seeing us. We watch Alice change through the course of the movie becoming more beautiful. So here it is, (and I am going to live by this) everyday when you get ready, take an extra moment to do something with your hair or a clothing choice to make yourself look like the person you are and not the person the first impression of your appearance may imply. This does not apply to people that know us well, however, in the world of meeting people, networking and business, appearance is a very important factor. You want people to take you seriously. If you had a board meeting for real estate development which woman would have more credibility? A rep in a business suit and heels with her hair in place or a woman wearing flip-flops and sweat pants with her hair pulled back with a bandanna? It doesn’t matter if the woman in sweats is better at the job. Her appearance has already tarnished her credibility. Just a little food for thought.

Are we true to ourselves? Do we show our confidence, beauty and strength to the world? Or like Alice do we cover the mirror and not look at who we are, being quiet and putting everyone else first, hiding from our true potential? Here is my advice. Rise to your full potential. Tear those pictures down, take a good long look, fix what you need to and be everything you were meant to be. This will be different for everyone. You need to be true to yourself. Now everyone, stand in front of the mirror and say it with me. “Fucking A”

Until next time, Embrace Your Inner Bad Girl, because being bad feels so damn good!

2 comments

  1. Alice is one of my favorite Elm Street heroines!

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